Mushroom Butter for Toast or Pasta

Over the summer while visiting some of my husband’s friends in Germany, I discovered the BBC magazine Good Food.  Around the holidays I was very excited to find this magazine in our local bookstore.  The following recipe is inspired from the December issue.

Ingredients:

250 grams of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
thyme sprigs
50 g dried mushrooms (your choice of type)
250 g baby bella mushrooms
2 tbsp brandy
juice of 1/2 a lemon
small handful of parsley, finely chopped
small handful of tarragon, finely chopped
toasted bread to serve with

I chose to use dried Enoki mushrooms.  I found their delicate texture and flavor to be a beautiful addition to this receipe.  I soaked them in water for about thirty minutes.
While the dried mushrooms were soaking I chopped the additional mushrooms, garlic, onion and herbs.
Add the onion to about 50g of butter (about half a stick) and gently saute until the onions are softened.  
Add the garlic to the cooked onion and cook for about one minute.  Add in the thyme.
Fold the mushrooms (dried and fresh) into the onion/butter mix and allow the butter to coat the mushrooms.  Cook for about 8 minutes or until soft.  
Add the brandy and lemon juice and cook until the liquid evaporates.
Once the liquid has evaporated remove from the heat and add the parsley and tarragon. As it is the middle of winter, I used dried tarragon.  I’m sure fresh would be lovely, but our herb beds are covered in about two feet of snow!
We love to find spice and salt treasures at our local Home Goods or Williams Sonoma shops.  These delicious aromatic savory salts in the porcini and parsley flavors are from Williams Sonoma.  I used this to flavor the mushroom mixture rather than regular salt. 
Following the recipe I took the remaining butter (about two sticks) and put it in a mixer.  Add the cooled mushroom mixture and combine.
This mushroom mixture, with the flavor from the lemon juice and the brandy, was to die for.  It would have been delicious just as is- no extra butter.  If I were to make this again (which I am sure I will), I would not mix the mushrooms with the butter.  I would put the mushroom mixture in the ramekins and then cover it with much less butter to seal it. 
Once in the dishes put the mixture in the fridge for about two hours to set.
Remove the butter from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before you serve it with toast.  A couple of days later we still had mushroom butter in our fridge.  I wanted to use it up so I cooked some Orzo pasta, chopped some baby bella mushrooms in a very rough, chunky cut and sauted them as the Orzo was cooking.  I put the mushroom butter in the pan with the new mushrooms and then tossed it all with the Orzo.  This was absolutely delicious! I did not take a photo but I highly recommend trying it out.

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